We are the Royal Spice Gardens, and we are Royal because of our association and Membership of SILATNAS, the Association of Indonesian Kings.
There are still 280 kings in Indonesia, in their various guises of Raja, Sultan and Datuk. Indonesia is, of course, a Republic, with no place for Kings. But the Royal families are reinventing themselves as guardians of their people, and this is recognized by the President asking SILATNAS to help preserve culture. This is why it is part of our Mission, to look after the people and culture, for culture cannot exist when the people have no money.
Therefore, we faced the challenge of creating share certificates for our shareholders with a different eye. In Indonesia there is no legal requirement for a share certificate. Instead, the company’s Articles of Association list every shareholder and their holding. Nevertheless, companies may issue share certificates and we wished to do so, but we wanted them to be very Indonesian share certificates and indeed we hope to start a trend!
Step forward the Lontar, which is the oldest method of writing still in current use. We don’t know how old it is, at least from before the Christian Era, because they are made of leaves which, like papyrus, deteriorate, especially in tropical climes.
The oldest Lontar are found in cool, dry climes, like Tibet. The lontar found in the stone libraries of the temples of Bali, Cambodia and India tend to be around a thousand years old.
But Lontar making is still alive and well in Bali, where Hindu scholars re-write Holy scriptures on Lontar, both with carved and painted words.
What a wonderful tradition to help preserve and to find a new use.
What is a Lontar?
A Lontar palm is a tall tree with the fan-like leaves in a tight globe. A branch is removed and the leaves taken and boiled. They are placed in a press, a bunch of them, and dried in this manner, till the edges are cut to create the standard size.
Each leaf becomes a page, with three holes and pieces of twine run through these like an accordion. The leaves are bound inside carved bamboo covers. A complete Lontar will have perhaps twenty pages, typically used on one side only.
Usually they are a mix of images and writing, for Lontar are not just to purvey information. They are Art. Both images and writing are either carved or painted onto the leaves and they are very beautiful. The designs that go into Lontar are traditional and extensive, with great ceremony. They are either painted on, or carved with a tiny knife. Paint is rubbed into the carving and give colour.
We are so pleased that we are doing our little bit to preserve this ancient culture, and we hope that this idea takes off and becomes frequent.
For our shareholders, you have a share certificate that is art, so combines real value with artistic value. We trust you will appreciate them as much as we do.
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